You may have noticed that I have a festive background wallpaper. Meanwhile stockings have gone up, advent candles are being burned, and presents well and truly hidden from prying fingers and eyes. Let’s celebrate the Christmas countdown with a Fake Christmas meal: Blackface pheasant stuffed with haggis!
I have the great honour of announcing the first ‘guest cook’ of Meat in a Box – my partner in love and crime, Chris. Chris boasts of a childhood spent shooting and plucking game birds, so who better to master the pheasant…
Details of the meal preparation were loose, but I do know the following things:
- Our pheasant (sort of like a small chicken) took about 45 minutes in an oven at 180C to cook.
- Chris deployed a circumvention technique that involved putting toast under the pheasant, apparently to get the heat under the bird. Clever.
- You DO have to be careful with lead shot, so eat with caution.
20 minutes before taking the pheasant out of the oven, Chris poured over a lovely orange glaze sauce, a sort of marmaladey concoction. It was accompanied by perfect roast potatoes (tip your parboiled potatoes into very hot oil and butter), and moreish brussel sprouts with pancetta and pine nuts. I am a huge fan of both these side dishes.
This meal is perfect for couples or small families. I would suggest roasting a couple for Christmas if you want a delicious alternative to turkey. The pheasant was still moist inside, with quite fatty skin in parts. There’s not much to a pheasant leg however; they are relatively stringy and tough. But the real meat to be had was in the breast. It was also my first time eating haggis, though it was very much what I suspected – tripe-like, pungent and a perfect stuffing choice. I think our pheasant basically tasted like a tastier chicken.
At £9.95 per pheasant, this meal would be the perfectly proportioned way to eat at Christmas on a budget.